BJ Miller, MD, is an American palliative medicine physician, author, and public speaker who advocates for terminally ill patients to experience compassion, dignity, and informed choice about their dying process as well as encouraging patients to embrace the life they have left.
“There is nothing wrong with you for dying,” hospice physician B.J. Miller and journalist and caregiver Shoshana Berger write in A Beginner’s Guide to the End. “Our ultimate purpose here isn’t so much to help you die as it is to free up as much life as possible until you do.
The end of a life can often feel like a traumatic, chaotic and inhuman experience. In this reassuring and inspiring book, palliative care physician Dr BJ Miller and writer Shoshana Berger provide a vision for rethinking and navigating this universal process.
Both providers and patients do have power to shape their experience together, especially if they take the time to have a few crucial conversations. In the spirit of palliation, here are a few things, as a physician, I wish I could share more often with patients and their caregivers.